The term “Vietnam visa extension” must have been much more popular in 2020 when thousands of foreigners stuck here in the country due to COVID 19. However, there are still many that don’t understand well and sometimes feel confused about it. The following post will show a full view of the Vietnam visa extension. Let’s check out!
What is Vietnam visa extension?
Vietnam visa extension is the way lengthening the legal stay of foreigners in Vietnam without leaving the country. With this method, the original passport will have a new stamp clarifying the new duration that expats can stay in Vietnam instead of a Vietnam visa stamp.
In the time of the epidemic, however, foreigners are eligible for automated Vietnam visa extension, details as below:
- Foreigners coming to Vietnam with a Vietnam tourist visa, Vietnam e-visa, or Vietnam visa exemption from March 1, 2020, and got stuck in the country will be eligible for auto Vietnam visa extension until November 30, 2020. It means that everybody stranded in Vietnam due to the coronavirus will not be fined or under any penalty for overstaying.
- Those who enter the country before March 1, 2020 can also be eligible for this policy, but they are required to show documents to prove that they are here because of the pandemic. The papers include a certificate called Diplomatic Note issued by their diplomatic mission in Vietnam, stating that foreigners are stuck in Vietnam due to COVID 19 (Vietnamese translation requested); and documents issued by the Vietnamese authorities, stating that they have undergone/ treatment for the virus, or they are here because of the reasons that beyond their control.
- It is emphasized that even when foreigners are automatically extended the Vietnam visa, they are asked to inform their temporary stay with the local police and health declaration.
How to extend visa in Vietnam
Applicants can submit an application in person, but it is highly recommended that they should contact for the exact requirements of their case before visiting the 1 of 3 offices of the Vietnam Immigration Department:
- Immigration office in Hanoi: 44-46 Tran Phu, Ba Dinh District
- Immigration office in Da Nang: 78 Le Loi, Thach Thang, Hai Chau
- Immigration office in Ho Chi Minh City: 196 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, Ward 6, District 3
- Monday-Friday (7:00 – 11:30: 13:30 – 17:00);
- and Saturday (Morning time only)
However, if you are not familiar with the administrative offices in Vietnam as well as have difficulty communicating in Vietnam, asking for help from a trustworthy agency is the best solution.
The new duration of stay will depend on your current Vietnam visa, and it is currently 1 month, 3 months and 6 months types as follows:
Extend visa for 1 month if:
- Foreigners coming to Vietnam with Vietnam visa exemption;
- Foreigners coming to Vietnam with 1 month Vietnam tourist visa;
- Foreigners coming to Vietnam with 3 months Vietnam tourist visa;
- Foreigners coming to Vietnam with Vietnam e-visa;
- US citizens coming to Vietnam with 1-year Vietnam tourist visa;
Extend visa for up to 3 months if:
- Foreigners coming to Vietnam with 1 month Vietnam business visa;
- Foreigners coming to Vietnam with 3 months Vietnam business visa;
- US citizens coming to Vietnam with 1-year Vietnam business visa;
- Foreigners coming to Vietnam holding APEC Business Travel Card;
Extend visa up to 6 months if:
- Foreigners coming to Vietnam with 5-year Vietnam visa exemption certificate;
Vietnam visa extension processing time
Normally it takes from 5 to 10 working days to process your visa extension submission, so it is highly advised that you do this paperwork at least 2 weeks before the expiry date of your Vietnam visa to make sure everything is fine, and you can avoid being gone through any penalty.
Here comes all the things to extend a visa in Vietnam. But please remember that, its number of times is limited depending on your visa type. As such, many foreigners opt to do a visa run to further remain in the country in case they are not eligible for a visa extension inside the country.